The search for a buyer for the commercial space on the site of the former military airfield in Niederkrüchten-Elmpt has been successfully concluded. The Pan-European specialist for corporate and logistics real estate Verdion has been selected in the bidding process for one of the largest commercial sites in North Rhine-Westphalia and the contracts between the Entwicklungsgesellschaft Energie- und Gewerbepark Elmpt mbH (EGE), the Bundesanstalt für Immobilienaufgaben (BImA) and Verdion have been signed. As the land is being sold by BImA, the sale must now be approved by the German upper and lower houses of parliament, the Bundestag and Bundesrat. The development concept envisages the construction of an industrial park covering 177 hectares, which is expected to bring between 5,000 and 8,500 new jobs to the region. Verdion and its funding partner plan to invest around €500 million at the site.
“One of the most important economic projects in the region is out of the starting blocks today. The business park will contribute positively to the economic and social development of the county over the coming decades,” said District Administrator Dr. Andreas, who is also Chairman of the Supervisory Board of EGE. As the municipal development company, EGE managed the Europe-wide bidding process. Karl-Heinz Wassong, Mayor of Niederkrüchten, is also very satisfied with the outcome: “The business park is a double opportunity: it attracts new companies to Niederkrüchten and offers those in the region new growth potential.” Some 20 hectares of the commercial area are allocated for regional small- and medium-sized enterprises. The economic development agency is already collecting enquiries for that space.
Sustainable concept and long-term partnership
During the bidding process, Verdion stood out with a development concept that was based on site-specific features and sustainability. “From the very beginning, our goals were to secure a long-term perspective for the site and the sustainable development of the area. Verdion convincingly demonstrated both in its concept and in our in-depth discussions,” said EGE Managing Director Ingo Schabrich. Jochen Altrogge, Head of Sales NRW at BImA, is also pleased with the successful conclusion of the contract, which – following a positive decision by the Bundestag and Bundesrat – would complete the final piece of the jigsaw for the future use of the entire 880-hectare former airfield site. “The location provides ample opportunities for society as a whole, with both the commercial development as well as the nature conservation areas that have been established,” Altrogge said. BImA, the district of Viersen, the municipality of Niederkrüchten and other stakeholders from the region have been working closely together since 2010 to establish new uses for the area.
Continuing German-British heritage in Javelin Park
Set out in Verdion’s plans, a mix of small, medium and large company sites and buildings for local businesses, start-ups, SMEs, technology and manufacturing companies, logistics firms, online or retail businesses will be created in Javelin Park in Niederkrüchten-Elmpt over the next ten to fifteen years. “This will create new jobs in areas such as production, warehousing and logistics, administration, IT, cleaning and catering. In addition, there will be new public infrastructure around the highly energy-efficient business park,” said André Banschus, Executive Director and the project manager at Verdion.
Citizens of Niederkrüchten and surrounding communities will be able to get involved in the project during the planning phase, which is now underway. “Above all, we want to exchange ideas about further environmental protection measures and a design concept for the site. The history of the Javelin Barracks and RAF Brüggen is extraordinary, and we want include that heritage in our plans,” underlined André Banschus.
Verdion will continue the site’s German-British history: The company, which is headquartered in London, will not only drive the construction with its Düsseldorf team, but will also continue to manage the park after completion. Its funding partner is the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), a Canadian pension fund that generates pensions for around 380,000 people in the healthcare sector. Both HOOPP and Verdion believe in the potential of the exceptional site and the region and will invest over €500 million in the project.